(Washington, DC) - This week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1734, the TRANQ Research Act, sponsored by Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Mike Collins (R-GA) and Congresswoman Yadira Caraveo (D-CO), with broad bipartisan support.

The TRANQ Research Act directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to deepen its partnerships and strategically focus on the science needed to detect, identify, and better understand synthetic opioids. The usage of one particularly dangerous fentanyl analogue known as “tranq” is skyrocketing across the country and contributing to an ever-growing number of drug overdoses. Also known as the “Zombie Drug”, tranq contains xylazine—a veterinary tranquilizer— and has gruesome side effects, causing large wounds that won’t heal, and is resistant to standard opioid overdose treatments.

“The TRANQ Research Act is a key component in the fight against fentanyl, which has taken too many American lives,” said Chairman Collins. “The research into deadly additives like the “Zombie Drug” this bill authorizes will help local law enforcement and border agents stay safe as they encounter this dangerous narcotic on the streets.”

“As a doctor, I've seen firsthand how addictive, dangerous substances like opioids have wreaked havoc in Colorado – we’re now losing nearly 2,000 Coloradans a year to fentanyl and meth overdoses. And that threat could worsen with the emergence of xylazine,” said Congresswoman Caraveo. “At a time of deep division in our country, I’m encouraged by the bipartisan support to address this next wave of the drug crisis. I’m grateful to Representative Collins for working with me to introduce the TRANQ Research Act and Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Lofgren for bringing this bill to the House floor.”

“I’m very pleased the House passed this important piece of legislation, especially at a time when new synthetic opioids are devastating communities across the country,” said Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK). “With NIST’s help, we will improve our ability to detect and identify dangerous synthetic drugs like tranq, which are increasingly posing new challenges for law enforcement, health care professionals, and first responders each and every day. I want to thank Chairman Collins and Congresswoman Caraveo for their hard work advancing this bill and bringing awareness to this critical issue.”

“I’m proud to see this bipartisan Science Committee bill pass the House,” said Ranking Member Zoe Lofgren (D-CA). “In 2021, there were over 7,000 deaths related to opioid overdose in my home state of California. One of the main reasons synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, are so deadly is that criminals often add various chemicals that make these drugs more potent and harder to detect. This bill would address this growing threat by leveraging NIST’s unique capabilities to develop technologies to handle dangerous narcotics like tranq. I would like to thank Representative Collins and Representative Caraveo for leading this legislation, and Chairman Frank Lucas for his support.”

The full list of cosponsors follows:
Rep. Mike Collins (R-GA)

Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-CO)

Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)

Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR)

Rep. Valerie Foushee (D-NC)

Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-CA)

Rep. Jennifer McClellan (D-VA)

Rep. Tom Kean (R-NJ)

Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC)

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA)

Rep. Kevin Mullin (D-CA)

Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY)

Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-IL)

Rep. Brandon Williams (R-NY)

Rep. David Trone (D-MD)

Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX)

Rep. Haley Stevens (D-MI)

Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)

Rep. Emilia Sykes (D-OH)

Rep. Dale Strong (R-AL)

Rep. Summer Lee (D-PA)

Rep. Scott Franklin (R-FL)

Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH)

Rep. Max Miller (R-OH)

Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-NC)